Allegiant Travel Co. announced on Tuesday that it plans to establish a two-aircraft base of operations at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids in June, a move the airline expects to create at least 66 new jobs.
The Las Vegas-based Allegiant says it is investing more than $42 million to establish its new base, which will house two Airbus aircraft. The company, which focuses on linking travelers in small- to medium-sized cities to world-class leisure destinations, plans to begin its base operations at Gerald R. Ford International Airport on June 4.
“Grand Rapids has been a great city for Allegiant, with solid demand and steady growth over the years,” says Keith Hansen, vice president of government affairs for Allegiant. “It’s a perfect location for a permanent base, where having locally based aircraft and crews will open a world of opportunity to expand options for both new service and operational hours. This will make travel even more convenient and affordable for both residents and visitors to the area, and further establish Allegiant as a hometown airline for Grand Rapids.”
Recently ranked among the nation’s fastest growing economies and best places to start a business, the Grand Rapids area currently is experiencing an unprecedented surge in capital development.
Today, Allegiant serves 11 non-stop routes from Michigan, including flights from Grand Rapids and Flint.
Grand Rapids will become the airline’s 16th aircraft base, which will allow Allegiant to expand its service to and from the city, offer more new non-stop routes in the future, and further connect Grand Rapids businesses, residents, and visitors to destinations around the world.
“Allegiant’s decision to open a base at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport is a big win for the region, and will have a ripple effect through our economy beyond the initial jobs and investment,” says Birgit Klohs, a member of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority Board. “It speaks to the strength of our growing airport, which is critical for companies doing business in West Michigan and beyond.”